Our industry has been around for a long time, and with that has come some standards for how we practice. Although technology and codes lead to occasional changes, the general principles stay the same. The most important thing to understand is that getting a project designed and built is a process, it takes time. Decisions are not made all at once, but throughout the course of a project.
Standard phases bring an order to the design process. Each phase has a purpose and a level of expectation. In general the phases are sequential and you will sign off on the completion of each phase, permitting the project to move forward based on the decisions made up to that point. The time frame to complete each phase varies depending on the complexity of your project. Here are the six phases: